US 3212649 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
06L 1965 H. T. JOHNSON ETAL 3,212,649
MACHINE FOR PERFORMING WORK l7 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 15, 1960 FIG. I
HARRY T. JOHNSON VELJKO MILENKOVIC BY JOHN WALTER 7ATTOR Oct. 19, 1965 H. T. JOHNSON ETAL 3,212,649
MACHINE FOR PERFORMING WORK 1'? Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 15, 1960 FIG. 2
HARRY T. JOHNSON VELJKO MILENKOVIC BY JOHN WALTER WW El ATTO 1965 H. T. JOHNSON ETAL 3,212,649
MACHINE FOR PERFORMING WORK Filed July 15. 1960 l? Sheets-Sheet 3 FIG. 4
HARRY T. JOHNSON VELJKO MILENKOVIG JOHN WALTER AT ORN 1965 H. T. JOHNSON ETAL 3,212,649
MACHINE FOR PERFORMING WORK Filed July 15, 1960 17 Sheets-Sheet 4 FIG. 8
IN VEN TORS HARRY T. JOHNSON VELJKO MILE NKOVIC rI BY JOHN WALTER TTOR Oct. 19, 1965 H. T. JOHNSON ETAL 3,212,649
MACHINE FOR PERFORMING WORK Filed July 15. 1960 17 Sheets-Sheet 5 /62 4 232 C 232 za w I 1,1 :d W 22mg 1 /34 f ;i 242 3 K56. l9 240 9 7 H 3 -f 254 mJ/W/ i; 248 77 -7 4 HARRY T. JOHNSON BY VELJKO MILENKOVIC J JOHN WALTER 2 162 2 232 f ATTOR Y Oct. 19, 1965 H. T. JOHNSON ETAL 3,212,649
MACHINE FOR PERFORMING WORK Filed July 15, 1960 17 Sheets-Sheet 7 NT i rm INVENTOR$ 542 HARRY T. JOHNSON VELJKO MILENK c 660- 545 BY JOHN WALTE 647/ TTORN 1965 H. T. JOHNSON ETAL 3,212,649
MACHINE FOR PERFORMING WORK Filed July 15, 1960 17 Sheets-Sheet 8 FIG. 24
IN VEN TOR5.
HARRY T.JOHNSON VELJKO MILENKOVIC BY JOHN WALTER ATTO EX 1965 H. T. JOHNSON ETAL 3,212,649
MACHINE FOR PERFORMING WORK Filed July 15, 1960 17 Sheets-Sheet 9 554 A 656 555 iaaa 554 B INVENTORS A 574 666 HARRY mon-msou VELJKO MILENKOVIO BY JOHN WALTER TTOR c 1965 H. T. JOHNSON ETAL 3,212,649
MACHINE FOR PERFORMING WORK Filed July 15, 1960 17 Sheets-Sheet 10 FIG. 3|
SERVO VALVE MANIFOLD SERVO VALVE MANIFOLD INVENTORS.
HARRY T. JOHNSON VELJKO MILENKOVIG BY JOHN WALTER Oct. 19, 1965 H. T. JOHNSON ETAL MACHINE FOR PERFORMING WORK 1'? Sheets-Sheet 11 Filed July 15, 1960 mom vm QE mam NMML E V w mmm 1965 H. T. JOHNSON ETAL 3,212,649
MACHINE FOR PERFORMING WORK il d July 15, 1960 17 Sheets-Sheet 12 G FEG. 3?
IN VEN TORS.
HARRY T. .xov-msou VELJKO MILENKOVIC BY JOHN WALKER ATT NEY.
Oct. 19, 1965 H. T. JOHNSON ETAL MACHINE FOR PERFORMING WORK 17 Sheets-Sheet 13 FIG. 45
HARRY T. JOHNSON VELJKO MILENKOVIC JOHN WALTER ATT NW I Oct. 19, 1965 H. T. JOHNSON ETAL MACHINE FOR PERFORMING WORK 1'? Sheets-Sheet 14 Filed July 15, 1960 O 9, 1965 H. T. JOHNSON ETAL 3,212,649
MACHINE FOR PERFORMING WORK 1'? Sheets-Sheet 17 Filed July 15. 1960 FIG. 49
FROM STATOR OF RESOLVER AMPLIFIER FROM TAPE (COMMAND) (RECORDING) TO GRIPPER VALVE 5|2 SIGNAL GENERATOR TO TAPE PLAYBACK (OSCILLATOR) a RECORD FIG. 50
||5v AC FROM TAPE (COMMAND) INVENTORS.
HARRY T. JOHNSON VELJKO MILENKOVIG BY JOHN WALKER 6% ATTO EY United States Patent 3,212,649 MACHINE FOR PERFORMING WORK Harry T. Johnson, Glenview, Veljko Milenkovic, Chicago,
and John Walter, Evergreen Park, 111., assignors to American Machine & Foundry Company, a corporation of New Jersey Filed July 15, 1960, Ser. No. 43,090 14 Claims. (Cl. 214-1) The present invention relates to a machine for performing a plurality of repetitive operations or manipulations with or on objects in accordance with a prescribed patterned sequence.
The demands of industry are such that there is an ever increasing need for machines capable of simulating operations and functions of all kinds of workers in handling manipulating, assembling and transferring work, work pieces, machines and objects being fabricated at the Work bench, or from one machine to another or in one machine only as the case may be in accordance with prescribed sequences of operations.
Attempts have been made heretofore to solve this problem and machines and attachments have been designed for this purpose. For example, devices have been built to control the automatic operation of machine tools, such as presses and lathes. Also, attempts have been made to operate machines which functioned within prescribed coordinates of motion in response to carefully calculated or computed straight-line paths of movement. Further, such machines required tooling for one job only and were not readily applicable for others.
The present invention constitutes a solution of the above problem because it provides a machine which has such flexibility and versatility that when properly programmed, it is capable of carrying out not only simple, but also complex movements and operations closely simulating acts and functions heretofore considered to be possible only by actual workers. A machine constructed in accordance with the invention has at least three basic degrees of freedom which allow vertical, horizontal and rotary motion as well as three dimensional diagonal movements. And in the illustrated embodiment at least three supplemental degrees of freedom are provided. Thus it is obvious that when a selected programmed sequence is prepared the machine can perform repetitively such operations as assembling machine parts, transferring work pieces from one station to another, close or open a circuit, and other tasks too numerous to mention, for as long or short a period as desired.
Features which contribute to the versatility and flexibility of the machine include: The ease with which it can be programmed. The ease with which it can be moved from one operating station to another in order to perform the many and varied tasks to which it may be assigned. The compactness of its structure which is made possible by the design of its actuating members such that a maximum multiplication of movement is made possible yet the actuators themselves are quite small.
The ease with which the machine can be programmed reflects its versatility because this means that instead of standing idle after completing one job, say of short duration, it can be given another program, and set into operation again with a minimum of effort and thereby contribute to the overall efficiency and productive effort of the plant where it is installed.
Versatility of our novel machine also results from the flexibility of the design, especially in the actuated element or arm which supports the work tool or piece. This latter may take the form of a pair of grippers which in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention has three degrees of movement, including a wrist action, closely simulating the wrist action of a human being.
Programming the machine is effected with great simplicity manually by providing the machine with means stantial regard to high accuracy except at points where this is required, or generally at the end points of an operative cycle where pieces or objects being handled, manipulated or worked on are taken from or delivered to a work station. Because of the novel construction of our machine and the relative simplicity of our programming mechanism, programming is accomplished with relative rapidity and without any need for elaborate computation or calculation in order to effect this purpose. Furthermore, as a result of our novel system of programming the time scale of the machine can be increased or decreased in accordance with the desired rate of playback.
machine capable of performing repetitively and continuously for any desired period of time operations and functions heretofore capable of performance only by human beings.
The invention is also characterized by a machine which is capable of performing tasks and operations normally performed by workers in which movements are not limited to straight lines, as in a lathe, but rather wherein movement of a tool or work piece carrying element can be along widely varied paths and at arbitrary speed rates through several degrees of freedom. In accordance with the preferred form of the invention disclosed herein, six degrees of freedom are provided.
The invention is further characterized by the provision of a novel machine capable of performing repetitively and continuously in accordance with a programmed sequence, a plurality of tasks, and especially tasks which may be considered montonous, as in the case of placing a nut on a bolt and turning it home, thereby relieving human workers for more important and satisfying tasks.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a novel machine capable of being rapidly and accurately programmed for carrying out many tasks and functions and wherein because of its flexibility in use and programming it can perform satisfactorily and efficiently for long and short periods of time in carrying out a specific programmed sequence.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a novel work handling, transferring and manipulating machine which can be operated alone, or which can readily be placed in a production line and become a coordinated unit of production for as long a period of time as required, and wherein because of the relative simplicity in programming the machine and the flexibility of its design, it can be employed for short or long periods in performing a selected programmed task.
The invention also consists in the provision of a novel work transferring, manipulating and assembling machine having a horizontally movable work piece handling or tool supporting arm, a carriage supporting the arm, and a rotatable vertical column on which the carriage is mounted for vertical movement and wherein the actuating mechanism for the arm, carriage and column are compact in structure so that the maximum movement of the arm carriage and column can be effected without requiring bulking of the machine.
The invention further consists of a novel machine capable of performing a large number of operations and functions such as transferring articles from one station to another, assembling machine parts, and handling work fabricating tools, and wherein the machine is compactly constructed so as to occupy a limited space.
Another object is to provide means to arrest all movements of the machine to prevent damage to the machine 3 aswell as to the article handled in case the moving parts of the machine encounter any external obstruction.
Still another object is to provide means for preventing the machine to start before the hydraulic pressure has reached a predetermined value.
I Another object is to provide means for maintaining the hydraulic pressure during operation within a predetermined limit and arrest operation when dropping below a given point.
Another object is to provide means for equalizing the pre'ssurein the system in case the hydraulic pressure in one of the actuating cylinders due to malfunction or outside obstruction should rise above a given point, thus preventing damage to delicate parts of the hydraulic control system.
Another object is to provide means for conveniently clearing the hydraulic fluid in the system of impurities before starting.
v Another object is to provide means for draining each individual hydraulic activator separately without effect on theothers. 7
With these and other objects not mentioned specifically in view, the invention consists in certain combinations and constructions which will be hereinafter described fully and then specifically set forth in the claims hereunto appended.
In the accompanying drawings which form a part of this specification, and in which like characters of reference indicate the same or like parts:
FIG. 1 is a front elevation of the article handling and transferrin apparatus,
FIG. 2 is a rear view of the same,
3 is a detailed sectional side elevation of the swivelled bottom portion of the vertical column of the machine,
FIG.- 4 is a sectional side elevation of the machine,
5 isan enlarged sectional side elevation of the manifold block for the vertical column cylinders,
FIG. 6 is a front elevation of the same, taken on line 6-6 of FIG. 5,
FIG. 7 is a detailed sectional plan view of the lower verti al cylinder and its supporting block, taken on line 7-7 of FIG. 4,
FIG. 8 is a sectional plan view of the manifold connectin the pair of horizontal cylinders employed for activating the vertical column, taken on line 8-8 of FIG.- 4,
FIG. 9 is also a sectional plan view, taken on line 9-9 of FIG. 4, illustrating the actuating means to impart oscillating motion to the vertical column,
FIG. 10 is a sectional plan view, taken on line 10-10 of FIG. 4, illustrating the vertical column mounting plate and manifold,
FIG. 11 is a detailed sectional plan view of the swivelled bottom portion of the vertical column, taken on line 11-11 of FIG. 3,
FIG. 12 is a sectional plan view illustrating the driving unit for the horizontal arm, taken on line 12-12 of FIG. 4,
FIG. 13 is a partial sectional bottom view of the horizontal arm and the driving and guiding means for the same as seen from line 13-13 of FIG. 4,
FIG. 14 is a sectional plan of the vertically reciprocating carriage supporting the horizontally reciprocating arm, taken on line 14-14 of FIG. 4,
FIG. 15 is a partial sectional rear elevation of the vertical lifting and lowering means for the horizontal arm supporting carriage, taken on line 15-15 of FIG. 4,
FIG. 16 is a sectional plan view of the driving unit which imparts reciprocal motion to the horizontal arm,
FIG. 17 is a sectional end elevation of the same, taken on the line 17-17 of FIG. 16,
FIG. 18 is another sectional end elevation of the horizontal arm driving unit, taken on line 18-18 of FIG. 16,
FIG. 19 is a sectional end elevation of the horizontal 4 arm, taken on line 19-19 of FIG. 13, illustrating the guiding means for the same,
FIG. 20 is a plan view of the manifold block for the hydraulic control system of the machine,
FIG. 21 is a sectional side elevation of the same, taken on line 21-21 of FIG. 20,
FIG. 22 is a sectional plan view of the manifold block taken on line 22-22 of FIG. 27,
FIG. 23 is also a sectional plan view of the manifold block taken on line 23-23 of FIG. 26,
FIG. 24 is another sectional plan view of the manifold block taken on line 24-24 of FIG. 25,
FIG. 25 is a sectional end elevation of the manifold block taken on line 25-25 of FIG. 20,
FIG. 26 is also a sectional end elevation of the manifold block taken on line 26-26 of FIG. 20,
FIG. 27 is another sectional end elevation of the manifold block taken on line 27-27 of FIG. 20,
FIG. 28 is a plan view of one of the safety valves,
FIG. 29 is a sectional side elevation of the same, taken on line 29-29 of FIG. 28,
FIG. 30 is another sectional side elevation of the safety valve, taken on line 30-30 of FIG. 28,
FIG. 31 is an end elevation of the safety valve illustrated with the coverplate removed, taken on line 31-31 of FIG. 28,
FIG. 32 is a side elevation of the safety valve illustrated in conjunction with a manifold block and a servo control valve,
FIG. 33 is an end elevation of the same, taken on line 33-33 of FIG. 32,
FIG. 34 is a sectional side elevation of the front portion of the horizontal arm which carries the gripper mechanism,
FIG. 35 is a sectional side elevation of the rear portion of the horizontal arm,
FIG. 36 is a partial sectional side elevation of the horizontal arm illustrating the wrist motion cam control,
FIG. 37 is a plan view of the gripper fingers and their actuatiing mechanism,
FIG. 38 is a partial bottom view of the gripper finger control mechanism, taken on line 38-38, of FIG. 34,
FIG. 39 is a sectional end elevation of the gripper finger actuating mechanism, taken on line 39-39 of FIG. 37,
FIG. 40 is a sectional end elevation of the horizontal arm, illustrating the adjustable wrist motion arresting mechanism, taken on line 40-40 of FIG. 34,
FIG. 40A is a sectional end elevation of the horizontal arm similar to FIG. 40 but with the wrist motion stop pins set in different relation,
FIG. 41 is another sectional end elevation of the horizontal arm, illustrating the wrist motion control mechanism, taken on line 41-41 of FIG. 35,
FIG. 42 is a sectional side elevation of the program-- mlng arm,
FIG. 43 is a sectional plan view of the programming head, taken on line 43-43 of FIG. 42,
FIG. 44 is a partial sectional side elevation of the programming head taken at from the section shown in FIG. 42,
FIG. 45 is a side elevation of one of the linear potentiometer in the programming head illustrating the mounting and support of the same,
FIG. 46 is a schematic flow diagram illustrating a suitable system for the machine,
FIG. 47 is a diagram illustrating a suitable electrical control circuit for recording a programmed operation of the machine,
FIG. 48 is a diagram illustrating a suitable electrical circuit to automatically actuate the machine in accordance to the program recorded on a tape,
FIG. 49 is an electrical diagram illustrating the components of a suitable error detector, and
FIG. 50 is a diagram of a suitable signal detector.
With reference to the drawings, the article handling and transfer apparatus selected for purposes of illustrating the invention comprises a reciprocatory horizontal arm A provided with article or object handling and manipulating means. The arm in the embodiment shown which is provided with a suitable gripping device is movably supported by a carriage C which slidably engages with a vertical column B on which said carriage C is vertically raised and lowered. The vertical column B at its bottom end is rotatably supported and turned in clockwise or counter-clockwise direction in a manner described hereinafter.
The hydraulic power unit for vertical column B of the machine is actuated by means of controlled hydraulic pressure by means of a suitable hydraulic power unit. The hydraulic power unit disclosed consists of a motor M which drives a pump P connected by means of suitable tubes to a reservoir R and a filter unit F. From the filter unit F suitable tubes branch out to the hydraulic actuator of the vertical column B, the hydraulic actuator for the carriage C and the hydraulic actuator for the horizontal arm A. There is also a tube which connects the filter unit F with a suitable accumulator D. To properly control the temperature of the hydraulic fluid, a suitable radiator E is provided through which the hydraulic fluid may be directed.
The hydraulic power unit is mounted on a suitable bed plate 70 (FIGS. 1 and 2) to which is also secured a suitable shaped housing 72 serving as support for the article handling and transfer apparatus.
Bed plate 78, preferably is provided with wheels (not shown) which enable it to be moved readily from one operating station to another. These wheels can be mounted in a manner for movement to an inoperative position out of contact with the floor when the machine has been located at an operating-station.
Housing 72, by means of suitable bearings, rotatably supports a vertical sleeve 74 (FIG. 4) having an upper flange 76 secured to a vertical column supporting plate and manifold 78 on which in turn is mounted the vertical column B. The vertical sleeve 74 serves as a driven member to impart clockwise and anticlockwise rotary motion to the vertical column B and for this reason carries a double sprocket 88 which is keyed thereto. The double sprocket 80 (FIGS. 4, 8 and 9) engages with a pair of chains 82, one end of each of which is connected to a tie bar 84 while the other ends are connected to a tie bar 86. Both tie bars are arranged in vertical position and bar 84 at its center is secured to the free end of a plunger or piston 88 projecting from a horizontally mounted cylinder 90. Bar 86 at its center position is also mounted to the free end of a plunger or piston 92 projecting from a horizontally mounted cylinder 94.
Cylinders 90 and 94 are mounted in the same plane and are parallel to each other, as illustrated in FIGS. 4, 8 and 9. The front caps 96 and 98 of the cylinders 98 and 94, respectively, are mounted on and connected to a manifold block 100 which in turn is held by and secured to a suitable outside surface of housing 72 (FIGS. 4, 8 and 9). Manifold block 108 is provided with a pair of ducts 102 and 104 (FIGS. 4 and 8) which by means of tubes 106 and 108 (FIG. 4), respectively, are connected to the pressure and return lines, respectively, of the hydraulic system. Both ducts 182 and 104 of the manifold block 100 are connected to suitable ducts in a safety valve 118 connected to an electrohydraulic flow control servo valve 112, such as manufactured by Moog Servocontrols, Inc. in East Aurora, New York. Servo valve 112 is secured to the safety valve 110 (FIGS. 4, 8 and 9) mounted on manifold block 100. Since the same type of safety valve is used in connection with two other manifolds in the machine a complete description of said safety valve which is shown in detail in FIGS. 28, 29 and 30, will follow hereinafter.
Two additional ducts 114 and 116 in manifold block (FIG. 8) are provided to permit hydraulic fluid to reach cylinders 90 and 94, respectively, through openings in their respective front caps 96 and 98, as illustrated in FIG. 8. Since the outside diameter of the plungers on pistons 88 and 92 are slightly smaller than the inside diameter of their respective cylinders the hydraulic fluid entering through the front caps of the cylinders passes through this provided clearance and builds up pressure on the rear end of the pistons which in the controlled operation of these cylinders drives the pistons to the left, as shown in FIG. 8 in a forward direction. Secured to the rear end of each plunger or piston is a guide disc or stop 118 (FIG. 8) each of which is provided with suitable flats 120 which permit the hydraulic fluid to reach the rear end of the piston. The servo valve 112 controls the flow of the hydraulic fluid in such a manner as to permit fluid to enter only into one cylinder at the time, causing that particular piston to move forward. Since, as described heretofore, both pistons are connected by chains 82 to each other, and since these chains run over sprocket 80 the forward movement of one piston causes the other piston to move backward which, due to the absence of pressure in the same, simply presses the fluid from the cylinder through the above-mentioned clearance between piston and cylinder out of the front cap of this particular cylinder. Leakage of fluid from cylinders 90 and 94 through the front caps 96 and 98 is prevented by suitable seals 122 and the rear end of each cylinder is tightly closed by a cap 124. By alternately supplying fluid pressure first to one and then to the other cylinder 90, 94 the chains 82 impart an oscillating motion to sprocket 80, and vertical column B is swung or oscillated about its longitudinal axis to any desirable degree depending on the setting and action of servo valve 112.
A fine tooth gear 126 (FIGS. 4 and 9), which forms a part of one of the resolver systems, described hereinafter, is secured to sleeve 74. Gear 126 meshes with a pair of small gears 128, one of which is mounted on a vertical shaft 130 while the other one is loosely mounted on said shaft but connected to the latter by means of a torsion spring (not shown) and thereby prevents back lash. Vertical shaft 130 is rotatably supported by suitable bearilngs in bracket 132 secured to the outer wall of housing Vertical column and drive assembly Vertical column B consists of a suitably shaped column member 134 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4, 12 and 14) capped by a cover plate 146 and at its bottom portion suitably secured to the supporting plate and manifold 78. Within column 134 is mounted a transverse vertical supporting plate 136 having secured thereto two vertically spaced, vert1cal cylinder supporting blocks 138 and 140. Lower block 138 holds the upper end of a vertically downwardly pro ecting cylinder 142. Upper block 140 holds the lower end of a vertically upwardly projecting cylinder 144. The bottom end of lower cylinder 142 is closed. From its upper end projects a plunger or piston '148, the upper free end of which is secured to the lower side of a floating yoke block (FIG. 15). The top end of upper cylinder 144 is also closed. From its bottom end projects a plunger or piston 152, the lower free end of which is secured to the topside of floating yoke block 150.
Secured to the center of floating yoke block 150 is a horizontal stud shaft 151 (FIG. 15) which rotatably supports gear 154. Gear 154 on one side engages with a vertically mounted stationary gear rack 156 the upper end of which is secured to the upper block 140 while the lower end of this rack is secured to the lower block 138. The other side of the gear 154 engages with the free floating end of gear rack 158 which at its upper end is pivot-